It was my grandpa who made the polenta every day once he retired at the age of 80. He filled the pot with water, placed it on the stovetop, added the salt and turned the heat to high. He has no patience, my grandma used to say. Polenta was his favorite thing. I've watched my grandpa and others in my family make it time and time again so I never had to read a recipe, measure ingredients, ask how to do it or anything like that. I just do it.
I've been wanting to write about polenta for a very, very long time. But whenever I thought about explaining how to make it, I felt at a loss. Bring salted water to a boil, stirr the cornmeal, stir, stir, stir, let it cook and when it looks done, it's done How much water? I don't know. How much cornmeal? Just enough. Well, I finally got over that. If I have to measure how much water, how much cornmeal and how much salt, then so be it.
Polenta goes very well with with stews, particulary pork and beef stews as well as with cheese. Stuffed peppers and stuffed cabbage rolls are meant to be eaten with polenta. Beans and lentils also love polenta. Mix polenta with cottage cheese, feta and sourcream or farmer's cheese and sour cream for a delicious and satisfying meal.
4 cups water
1 cup coarse cornmeal - I use Goya Coarse Cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt or more depending on how you like it
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
In a pot,bring the water and salt to a boil. Pour the polenta slowly into the water, stirring constantly with a wisk or wooden spoon to prevent any lumps from forming. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue stirring for about 5 minutes. Let the polenta cook for another 10-15 minutes while occasionallly stirring it. Please note that the cooking time depends on the type of cornmeal. The more coarse it is, the longer it will take to cook.The polenta is cooked when it comes easily away from the sides of the pot. Add the butter if you wish.